Midcoast Conservancy names inaugural board

Midcoast Conservancy has named its inaugural board of directors, tapping two members from each of its four merging organizations: the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association and Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance.

The board will be chaired by SVCA member Susan Russell, the immediate past president of the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, and past board chair of Kieve Wavus Education Inc.

Fellow board members include DLWA members Hugh Riddleberger and Marty Welt; HVNC members Carole Cifrino and Chuck Dinsmore; SVCA member Joanne Steneck; and SWLA members Buck O’Herin and Susan Shell.

Midcoast Conservancy also will benefit from the ongoing participation of the founding members and the combined corps of dedicated volunteers. The organization structure includes regional councils in each merging organization’s area, to ensure local and current engagement with Midcoast Conservancy’s entire area of conservation. With the expanded volunteer base, and staff ability to focus on their fields of expertise, Midcoast Conservancy looks forward to more effective, active protection of the water and land to which its members have long committed their time and resources.

For more details, contact Jody Jones at [email protected]


Maine mentoring program gains new directors, officers

The ACE Mentor Program of Maine has named its new board of directors for the 2015-16 mentor session, drawing professionals from local architecture, construction and engineering firms.

The new directors and officers are: Tyler Johnson of Harriman, chairman; Leigh Bartlett of Stantec, vice chairman; Matt Carter of Carter Architectural Design, LLC, secretary; Greg Edwards of Edwards, Faust & Smith, treasurer; Jill Johanning of Access Design/Alpha One, southern Maine leader; Robbyn Reed of Burns & McDonnell, fundraising chairperson; and officers Richard Borrelli of WBRC Architects – Engineers, Jack Carr of Criterium Engineers, Matthew Cyr of Consigli, Bob Greene of Cianbro Corp. and Mike Pulaski of Thornton Tomasetti.

The Maine affiliate is part of the national ACE Mentor program, which works to engage, excite and enlighten high school students in pursuit of careers in architecture, construction, and engineering through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.

Throughout the year, Maine high school students in the ACE program work with local architects, engineers, and contractors to guide them through team design projects. These mentors help them work on their projects, visit their firms’ offices, and tour major construction sites to explore the wide range of professional skills needed in today’s building industry.

Housing grant to help fix, expand Falmouth complex

Avesta Housing was recently awarded a $100,000 affordable-housing grant through the TD Charitable Foundation’s “Housing for Everyone” grant competition.

The funding will be used for rehabilitation and new construction at Falmouth’s Blackstone Apartments, which receive rental assistance for seniors and disabled individuals under the Section 8 program from U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

The existing apartments, built in the mid-1970s, need new siding, doors, windows, cabinets and flooring. The scope of work will also include better accessibility, improved pedestrian connections, and an upgrade to the community area.

The funding also will be used to add 19 more apartments for low-income elderly individuals. The proposed building will be a two-story apartment building designed to match the rural character of the existing community.

Portland Downtown events raise $10,000 for charity

Two of Portland Downtown’s signature holiday events, Shop for a Cause Day and Merry Madness, have collectively raised $10,000 for Preble Street and the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund.

“We were thrilled Preble Street was chosen by Portland Downtown as the beneficiary of this year’s Shop for a Cause Day. While the donation itself provides a critical boost to our efforts to meet growing needs, we’re also buoyed by the spirit of generosity behind the dollars raised,” said Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street. “There is no way we could alleviate hunger, end homelessness, and offer hope to those in poverty without members of our community who understand we’re all in it together.”


Firefighters’ Fill the Boot campaign raises $5,526

Members of South Portland Fire Department, Local No. 1476, raised $5,526 during its 60th annual Fill the Boot campaign to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease in Maine.

Those proceeds will directly benefit those affected with muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other related life-threatening diseases that take away people’s ability to walk, move, smile, talk and even breathe.

Dollars raised also help support MDA’s life-enhancing programs, such as support groups and clinics, including the MDA Clinic at Maine Medical Center in Portland and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. They also support MDA summer camperships for kids with muscle disease.


Three hospitals earn tobacco-free accolades

Central Maine Healthcare has earned a gold star for its efforts to create a tobacco-free environment and support tobacco-free lifestyles.

The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network, a program of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, recognized CMHC’s three hospitals – Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston; Bridgton Hospital; and Rumford Hospital – for achieving Gold Star Standards of Excellence in their work to curtail tobacco use.

The three hospitals met all 10 criteria for meeting best practice standards for addressing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through comprehensive policies, education, social norm change, and treatment support.

Central Maine Healthcare first adopted a tobacco-free campus policy in 2004. By advancing to Gold Star Standards of Excellence, the organization has expanded its effort to deliver high-quality health care and promote disease prevention in a tobacco-free environment.